Cambridge English dictionary defines endorphin as a chemical naturally, released in the brain to reduce pain, that in large amounts can make you feel relaxed or full of energy. In other words, endorphins are happy chemicals.
My formula to produce happy chemicals in my body:
1) Eat comfort food – I used to like ice cream. My oncologist warned me against eating or drinking too much dairy. So now my comfort food – still ice cream but in small servings only. (fine print: small is relative – compared to my previous consumption, it’s now smaller.) still working on my rice resolution… but getting better already – am no longer rice bucket… congee with century egg; salted egg and pickled cucumber and pork floss.
2) Exercise: I still remember feeling good after each swim in the morning. But after the constant typhoon, rain etc, I stopped. And stopping exercise is no good coz it curbs the enthusiasm and breaks the habit. Soon, I find excuses for not going swimming – I’m sleepy, it’s too cold etc. In short, I’m just lazy and getting old or vice versa. In Filipino: Pag gusto may paraan. Pag ayaw maraming dahilan. (If there’s a will, there’s a way. If no will, no way.) So now I dance.
Dancing makes me happy while dancing and after dancing, because then I can excuse myself to go back to eating without feeling guilty.
Endorphins are produced in the nervous system when one exercises. I used to ask my oncologist if the reason for my depressive moods was the meds I was taking. She just suggested that I exercise. It’s not easy – I did not feel like exercising then nor did I believe that it would help my mood. What next? I went to a psychologist-counsellor to help me process my thoughts.
3) Expel the negativity. When feeling blue, resolve to get yourself out of your misery even when it seems impossible and do something about it. Talk to a friend. See a counsellor. Ask for help to get out of your depression.
How to be happy the Biblical way: Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in everything. (1 Thessalonians 15:16-18)
Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to God. And peace of God which is beyond human understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Believe me – i experienced it after persevering at learning to live it. Still learning – sometimes I’m successful; sometimes not so good. But day by day, moment by moment by God’s amazing grace and mercy. You can do it too.